Agencies (Qasioun) - The Syrian Kurdish YPG militia said Russia was setting up a military base in northwestern Syria under a bilateral agreement and will help train its fighters - a step that would anger Turkey as it tries to block Kurdish gains near its borders.
The Russian defense ministry, however, said it had no plans to open any new military bases in Syria; it said a branch of its "reconciliation center", that negotiates local truces between the warring sides in Syria, had been located in Aleppo province near Afrin.
YPG spokesman Redur Xelil told Reuters the agreement had been concluded on Sunday and that Russian troops had already arrived at the position in the northwestern region of Afrin with troop carriers and armored vehicles. "It is the first (agreement) of its kind," he said in a written message. Such an agreement would further illustrate how the Syrian Kurds have managed to bring both Washington and Moscow onto their side.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said in response to a question on Afrin that Ankara would never allow what he called a "terror region, a terror state" to be established in northern Syria," in reference to the YPG.